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Christina Takter, one of the top owners in the sport and wife of Hall of Fame driver/trainer Jimmy Takter, will be honored as the 2014 Lady Pace Honoree during the Grand Circuit meet at the Delaware County Fair. Takter is a native of Sweden and came to the United States in the early 1980s at the age of 19. Mrs. Takter has co-owned some of the sports top performers, including Father Patrick, Shake It Cerry, Corky, Guccio, Pastor Stephen, Uncle Peter, See You At Peelers and the 2014 Hambletonian champion Trixon. Mrs. Takter takes a major role in the day-to-day operation of the couples large racing stable and their farm in East Windsor, NJ. The Takters have four children; Tiffany, Jenny, Nancy, and Jimmy, Jr.,   by Jay Wolf, for the Little Brown Jug

August 1-7, 2014; At this point in the season, it's typical for 3-year-old horses at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs to be battling against others of their own age in Stallion Series or Sire Stakes action. Yet our two top performers of the week that was at Pocono dared to take on older horses. Not only did they survive, but they thrived. Here are the details of both their exploits and those of the other top performers as we hand out the Weekly Awards. PACER OF THE WEEK: LUCK BE WITHYOU This 3-year-old colt from the Chris Oakes' barn started the season in Canada but quickly found a home at Pocono with a condition win on June 28 in 1:50:1. He then battled his way to a 7th in finals of the prestigious Meadowlands Pace before returning for an even more impressive victory in a blistering 1:48 on July 19. On Saturday night, Luck Be Withyou faced his sternest test yet by going up against the non-winners of $22,500 in the last five races grouping. Among the competitors he would have to face were Meirs Hanover and Bolt The Duer, a pair of veterans as talented and as tested as there are in the sport. If the relative inexperience of Luck Be Withyou was ever going to be a factor, this was the race. At the top of the stretch, the 3-year-old was staring at the tail of Bolt The Duer, who had set the pace and done so in reasonable fractions. Yet Luck Be With You was ready for the challenge when driver George Napolitano Jr. asked for another gear. He sped by a stunned Bolt The Duer and held off fast-closing E Street Plan for the win in 1:49:2. Even though the time wasn't as flashy as his previous win, this victory was the best evidence yet of this sophomore's incredible talent. Other top pacers this week include: Show Runner (George Napolitano Jr., Lou Pena), a mare whose victory in Friday night's featured condition pace in a career-best 1:50:3 was her second straight win; Gold Deuce (George Napolitano Jr., Lou Pena), who powered to a win over $10,000 claimers on Saturday night in 1:50:4, a career-best and his Third Straight win; and Mach It So (Andrew McCarthy, PJ Fraley), who picked up a win in Saturday night's featured Preferred Handicap pace in 1:48:2, a new career-best and the fastest time posted this week at MSPD. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: REVRAC HARBOUR This award was probably a little overdue for this 3-year-old colt from the barn of trainer Tony Alagna. From June 3 to July 1, he ripped off four consecutive wins at Pocono, topping out with a back-to-back career-best miles of 1:54:1 in wins over the non-winners of four condition. He traveled to the Meadowlands after that and struggled against some of the top trotters in the country in a pair of stakes races. Revrac Harbour returned on Tuesday night to face all older horses in a non-winners of $13,000 in the last five starts condition trot. Back at Pocono again, he found his stride quickly by making a move to the front end early in the race. Yet Picture This, the race favorite, lurked behind him In The Pocket for much of the mile and enjoyed a much better trip. In the stretch, Picture This took to the inside passing lane and briefly seemed like he was about to get past. That's when driver Scott Zeron coaxed just a little extra effort from an already-taxed Revrac Harbour, who dug in and surged back in front in the final strides in 1:55:4 on a sloppy track. That makes it five wins in the last five races he's started at Pocono, with this maybe the gutsiest yet. Honorable mention on the trotting side goes to: Zooming (Tyler Buter, Amber Buter),who shipped in from New York for a condition win on Saturday in 1:51:4, easily the week's fastest trotting time; Waldorf Hall (Corey Callahan, Jim Raymer), who churned through the slop for a condition win on Tuesday in 1:53:4; and Swiss Lightning (Anthony Napolitano, Kevin Lare), who ripped off his fourth straight claiming victory on Wednesday night in 1:54:4, matching his career-best in the process. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: RESCUE PLAN It's not often George Napolitano Jr., the meet's leading driver, pilots a long shot, but this condition pacer was at 42-1 when G-Nap steered him to victory on Tuesday night for a $87.60 win payout on a $2 ticket. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: GEORGE NAPOLITANO JR. Who else could it be this other than George Nap, considering that he won seven of the thirteen races on the card on Saturday and nearly pulled off a 20-win week. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: CHRISTIE COLLINS Collins' barn has been steadily gaining momentum in the summer months, and her trainees picked up three more wins this week, including a double on Friday. That will do it for it this week, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at jbeviglia@mohegansunpocono.com. Jim Beviglia          

It has long been recognized that some harness racing maternal families will leave winners regardless of what sires you send them to. That is certainly backed up in the case of the branch of the hugely successful Millie C family established by the Bachelor Hanover mare Excuse Me. Choice Machine is the latest descendant of  the Excuse Me clan to prove that you don't need “blue blood” sires to succeed with this family. Choice Machine is by Road Machine and won three races on the track with a best mile rate of 2:00.5 over 2200 meters. She was from a Tuff Choice daughter of Excuse Me who had six foals for two winners with Choice Machine being her best. So Road Machine and Tuff Choice are not and never will be leading broodmare sires but that hasn't stopped the Excuse Me factor helping Choice Machine start life as a brood mare with a real bang. The first foal she produced was Choice Falcon by Falcon Seelster who has gone 1:56.6 and won $98,602 to date while her second foal is the smart Changeover two year old in Controversial 1:57.3 who made it two from two winning at Newcastle on Friday night for Shane Tritton and looks to have a big future in front of him. Controversial winning last Friday night This is a maternal family that seems to thrive regardless of what sires are involved. Smooth Performer ($184,355) who descends from a daughter of Excuse Me was by the abject sire failure, Top Performer. Smooth Performer was his only $100,000 winner but she bred on as well being the dam of Franco Sequel 1:51 ($356,011). Another daughter of Excuse Me, Precious Excuse is by the poorly performed unraced Albatross sire Acquisitor who was a flop in New Zealand but Precious Excuse's first three foals have all won in bettor than 2:00. Outstanding horses that have Excuse Me as their third dam or better include Just An Excuse 1:55.6 ($1,047,157) DB Bopper 1:50 ($605,365) and Second Wind 1:49.8 ($340,501) to name just a few. This is a maternal family that seems to succeed regardless of the strength of the sires used with it. Excuse Me was an outstanding brood mare and her daughters and their descendants have carried that on, growing the reputation of a maternal family that seems to produce winners to just about any sire that they are covered with. Harnesslink Media

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